News & Events

James E. Baker Named a NAPA Fellow

Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism Director the Hon. James E. Baker is among four Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs faculty members selected to join the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) as 2019 Academy Fellows. 

Baker, who has a joint appointment as Professor of Law and Professor of Public Administration, is joined by Leonard Burman, Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics; Leonard Lopoo, Maxwell Advisory Board Professor of Public Policy; and Peter Wilcoxen, Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Administration.

NAPA is a congressionally chartered, nonpartisan, and nonprofit academy providing expert advice to government leaders in building and managing more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. Fellows are selected based on their substantial scholarly contributions to the field of public administration, or significant and broadly applicable administrative experience.

Inducted fellows contribute to the field of public administration by serving on NAPA boards, panels, or committees; serving on specific project panels (which conduct studies under contract with government agencies or with the support of foundations, corporations, and associations); participating in symposia and seminars; and providing congressional testimony.

Induction into NAPA is considered one of the leading honors for scholars in the discipline. The new NAPA Fellows join former cabinet officers, members of Congress, governors, mayors, state legislators, prominent scholars, business executives, nonprofit leaders, and public administrators.

William C. Banks Reflects on Trump Impeachment for China Daily

Democrats start Trump impeachment probe

(China Daily | Sept. 26, 2019) Republican president calls US House’s drive ‘positive’, yet tweets with fury.

“If the allegations are true, the abuse of power is significant.”

Democrats made their move against US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will open an impeachment inquiry over a phone call Trump had with Ukraine’s president in which former vice-president Joe Biden and his son were reportedly discussed.

“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution,” Pelosi said after meeting with House Democrats at the Capitol. “The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”

The phone conversation was reported to be included in a whistleblower complaint that the Trump administration has not turned over to Congress, although a news report on Tuesday said the White House would release it.

The impeachment probe will center on whether Trump sought help from a foreign government in his bid for reelection next year. Biden is now a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination …

… William C. Banks, a law professor at New York’s Syracuse University, told China Daily: “If the allegations are true, the abuse of power is significant, and many members of Congress will be motivated to conduct impeachment proceedings.” He is the co-author of a 1994 book about tensions between the executive and legislative branches, National Security Law and the Power of the Purse.

As for the impact on the 2020 election, Banks said: “It’s too early to say. It could be the beginning of the end for President Trump, or the proceedings could backfire and propel Trump to reelection” …

Read the full article.

 

William C. Banks Publishes 2019-2020 Supplement to National Security Law & Counterterrorism Law

National Security Law Sixth Edition & Counterterrorism Law Third Edition, 2019 Supplement. Wolters Kluwer, 2019. (With S. Dycus, P. Raven-Hansen, & S.I. Vladeck)

Write authors William C. Banks, Stephen Dycus, Peter Raven-Hansen, and Stephen I. Vladeck, it is an increasingly Herculean task to stay abreast of developments in our field, given their dizzying pace and substantive breadth.

Even with new editions of National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law slated for publication in Spring 2020, the 2019–2020 Supplement will help students and teachers stay up to date during the coming academic year.

By including the most important recent cases, legislation, and executive branch actions, the new Supplement also underscores the critical work that lawyers do to keep this nation both safe and free.

Recent developments addressed in the 2019-2020 Supplement:

  • Fallout from the Mueller Report
  • U.S.-Mexico border wall, emergencies, and related issues
  • Russian interference in U.S. elections
  • Congressional access to Executive Branch information
  • The next generation of Guantánamo litigation

Visit the Wolters Kluwer webpage.

National Security

William C. Banks Publishes on “Hybrid Threats, Terrorism, and Resilience Planning”

Hybrid Threats, Terrorism, and Resilience Planning. International Centre for Counter-Terrorism Perspective (2019). (With K. Samuel.)

We live in an inter-connected, inter-dependent world, not only in digital spaces, but increasingly between the physical and digital worlds. While our inter-connectedness and the accompanying rapid technological change bring with them widespread societal benefits, they can also deepen existing vulnerabilities and create new ones, such as in relation to critical infrastructure interdependencies. These technology-rich and highly dynamic circumstances can be exploited by those with criminal and malicious intent, including terrorists, with potentially extensive and catastrophic consequences, as the 2017 WannaCry cyber-attack with global reach, which nearly brought the United Kingdom’s National Health Service to its knees, illustrated.

We will illustrate this ironic confluence of good news/bad news by focusing on hybrid threats posed by cyber technology to critical national infrastructure. Our op-ed begins by briefly examining the concept of hybrid threats, before examining how they are materialising in the cyber world. The discussion then turns to examining how best to counter hybrid threats to our Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). We propose the development of more dynamic, integrated and innovative resilience planning solutions beyond those that currently exist.

The Concept of Hybrid Threats

Hybrid threats posed by state and non-state actors are expected by many to increasingly challenge countries and institutions globally. In 2016, this recognition led to the creation of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), which recognises diverse and wide-ranging forms of terrorism as a potential source of hybrid threats. The Hybrid CoE has defined a hybrid threat in the following terms:

  • Coordinated and synchronised action, that deliberately targets democratic states and institutions systemic vulnerabilities, through a wide range of means;
  • The activities exploit the thresholds of detection and attribution as well as the different interfaces (war-peace, internal-external, local-state, national-international, friend-enemy);
  • The aim of the activity is to influence different forms of decision making at the local (regional), state, or institutional level to favour and/or gain the agent’s strategic goals while undermining and/or hurting the target.

As the broad parameters of this definition reveal, hybrid threats can take a multitude of diverse forms. They can pose many practical and legal challenges too, such as how to detect, investigate, and attribute them in order to identify and bring to account their perpetrators, whether state or non-state actors … MORE

 

Through INSCT, Syracuse University Joins Program to Diversify Intelligence Field

(Re-published from The Daily Orange | Sept. 16, 2019) Ebrar Mohammad, a recent Syracuse University graduate, wants to work for the FBI.

The FBI places employees based on need, but Mohammed hopes to stay in Syracuse. She wants to pursue an additional degree through a new SU program that promotes diversity in the intelligence field.

“If I eventually get an interview with the FBI, I plan to ask if it’s something they’d be willing to support,” she said. “Getting an advanced degree from a program like this would be an amazing opportunity.”

In June, SU was named an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence. This designation includes a $1.5 million grant to increase diversity through intelligence field education initiatives and recruitment.

SU’s program is called the Partnership for Educational Results/Syracuse University Adaptive, Diverse and Ethical Intelligence Community Professionals, or PER/SUADE. It will partner with four other universities, one of which is a historically black university.

“Just the fact that we have students from all around the world, where else can you find that much diversity with people that are academically minded?” Mohammad said of SU.

In 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act mandated increased diversity in the intelligence. A year later, the national Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence program began, which focuses on students from underrepresented groups, women, students with disabilities, rural students and military students.

According to a 2018 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, racial minorities make up about 26% of intelligence community employees. Women make up 39% of intelligence community employees, and people with disabilities make up 11%.

“The goal of the grant is to diversify the pipeline going into the federal government and the national security fields,” said Corri Zoli, director of research at the Institute for National Security and Counter Terrorism. “We looped in diversity in very cutting edge and innovative ways, so that diversity is not just ethnicity or demographic diversity.”

Over the course of five years, the SU program will add a major, minor and certificate of advanced study, as well as graduate and doctorate degrees, said Vice Admiral Robert Murrett, deputy director of INSCT. Two of the program’s classes will be available for undergraduates in spring 2020, said Murrett.

SU’s program includes 10 “work streams,” or disciplines, related to the intelligence field. About 20 faculty and staff from different schools, colleges and offices across campus will be part of the program’s education initiative …

Read the full article.

William C. Banks Joins ICT Panel on “When Conflicts End & How”

Professor Emeritus William C. Banks recently joined colleagues on an Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) World Summit panel entitled “When Conflicts End & How: ISIS as a Case Study”. The panel—the inaugural meeting of “The End of War Project”—took place on Sept. 19, 2019, as part of the 19th World Summit. Offered in memory of long-time INSCT supporter Gerald Cramer ’52, H’10, Banks opened the panel with a remembrance of Cramer’s life and career.

When Conflicts End & How: ISIS as a Case Study

The End of War Project Inaugural Meeting
In cooperation with Emory Law School

Chair: Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, Senior Researcher and Head, IHL Desk, ICT & Assistant Professor, Lauder School of Government, IDC Herzliya, Israel
  • Scott Allan, Senior Strategist, Bureau of Counter-Terrorism, US Department of State
  • William C. Banks, Founding Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism
  • Laurie Blank, Clinical Professor of Law & Director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic, Emory University School of Law
  • Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the President, RAND Corporation
  • Assaf Moghadam, Director of Academic Affairs, ICT, and Associate Professor and Director of the M.A. Program in Government, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy, Herzliya, Israel

End_of_War_Project_2019

Second Thoughts About Taliban Peace Talks

By Corri Zoli

(Re-published from Newsday | Sept. 9, 2019) Two U.S. soldiers were killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, from small-arms fire during combat late last month. We likely won’t know specific details about the service members’ identities or circumstances for some time.

“The deaths of the U.S. soldiers run against the grain of many Americans’ usual assumptions about war.”

But what we do know is that ongoing attacks by the Taliban will test America’s resolve to end what President Donald Trump has called an “endless” war. In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly is reluctant to sign an “agreement in principle” between the Taliban and the United States, brokered by U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. And, the president has decided to cancel peace talks with the Taliban, at least for now.

Secondly, the deaths of the U.S. soldiers run against the grain of many Americans’ usual assumptions about war — and this post-9/11 war in particular — and most Americans’ feelings about losing service members in asymmetric conflicts.

The two service members were fighting on behalf of NATO’s Operation Resolute Support — a noncombat “train, advise, and assist” mission of more than 17,000 troops in Afghanistan, which started Jan. 1, 2015, after the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) ended Dec. 28, 2014.

While commanded by U.S. Army Gen. Austin Scott Miller, as the name suggests, this is a NATO mission. NATO allies with the Afghan government made the decision in 2012 (it has been reaffirmed frequently) to develop Afghan military capacity to defend and protect its citizens.

While Americans’ own security interests are at stake in this mission — no one wants to see another attack like 9/11 by al Qaeda operatives harbored in Afghanistan — the enormous investment in Afghanistan’s military capacity and security infrastructure comes at great price to Americans and citizens from other NATO-member states who have died in these combat and noncombat missions. Clearly, even this noncombat mission is beset with the armed conflict and violence associated with combat missions.

Of the 17,000-plus troops, the United States (8,475), Germany (1,300), and the United Kingdom (1,100) have provided the vast majority of “boots on the ground.” NATO members France and Canada, for instance, have zero troops in the fight. When U.S. administrations from Clinton to Trump pressure NATO members to contribute more to their own defense, the issue is not only about raising their GDP percentage contribution to NATO’s defense budget, it is also who is actually fighting in these security initiatives that European and NATO partners have deemed a priority …

Read the full article.

 

Professor William C. Banks Comments on Southern Border Wall Funding for Vox

Trump is taking money from Puerto Rico’s recovery and European security to fund his wall

(Vox | Sept. 5, 2019) A National Guard readiness center in Puerto Rico. A hazardous material storage building on a US military base in Germany. A training facility for special operations forces working to deter Russia in Europe. Upgrades at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Those are just some of the 127 affected military construction projects that will be defunded and delayed so President Donald Trump can build roughly 175 miles of wall on the southern border. In total, construction efforts in nearly half of all 50 states — as well as 19 countries, three US territories, and some classified locations — will have their funding diverted to pay for the barrier.

The Trump administration announced last February it would find $3.6 billion from previously approved military construction projects to fund the wall effort. But it wasn’t until Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s letter outlining the funding diversions was released to the public on Wednesday evening that the full scope of the financial diversion became clear …

… The growing fury means it’s possible Democrats in Congress might try to block the move — which means a bruising political fight could be around the corner.

“The battles will be more political than legal,” William Banks, an expert on national security law at Syracuse University, told me. “It’s possible for Congress to enact — over a veto — funding restrictions on this or new funds that the president wants or needs. There’s lots of horse trading to come” …

Read the full article.

Dirty Little Wars and the Law: Did Osama bin Laden Win?

By David M. Crane 

(Re-published from The Hill | Aug. 18, 2019) The past week marked the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. This laudable treaty, signed by every country, codified centuries of custom, treaties and protocols to protect individuals found on the battlefield. There are four articles to the Geneva Conventions protecting the wounded and sick, prisoners of war and civilians. This is an attempt to bring law and order onto the battlefield. These conventions are part of a larger set of treaties, protocols and rules called international humanitarian law, or the “laws of armed conflict.”

“For the past several decades, conflict has evolved from the vast industrial age conflicts, such as the World Wars and Operation Desert Storm, into the nuanced, kaleidoscopic conflicts of today.”

The Geneva Conventions were part of a promising four years after World War II that attempted to prevent the horrors of future conflict. The Nuremberg Principles were adopted, the United Nations Charter was signed, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention were created. These became the cornerstones to settle disputes peacefully and use force only as a last resort. The focus was on international peace and security.

Originally drafted to protect those found on the battlefield during international armed conflict, the protocols additionally drafted in 1976 brought in non-international armed conflict. The minimum standard under what is called “Common Article 3,” found in each of the four parts to the conventions and the additional protocols, is that regardless of status on the battlefield, everyone should be treated humanely. That remains the minimum today. Not maintaining this standard can be a war crime in and of itself. Essentially, any armed conflict is covered by the rule of law and those who break international humanitarian law are committing war crimes.

For the past several decades, conflict has evolved from the vast industrial age conflicts, such as the World Wars and Operation Desert Storm, into the nuanced, kaleidoscopic conflicts of today. In these “dirty little wars,” the parties largely fail to follow the laws of armed conflict. There are no protections, particularly for civilians and even more importantly for women and children. The Geneva Conventions single them out to be especially protected; yet, one only has to look to the Syrian civil war to see that this key principle of law is ignored by all parties to that conflict.

A majority of casualties in dirty little wars of the 21st century are civilians, a protected group under international law. Intentionally targeting civilians is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. Those who violate this principle are war criminals and remain so for the rest of their lives, since there is no statute of limitations for such crimes. By way of example, we still prosecute Nazi camp guards from World War II, all of whom now are in their 90s …

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David M. Crane is a Syracuse University College of Law Distinguished Scholar in Residence.

Corri Zoli Comments on Foreign Countries’ US Travel Warning

Japan joins list of countries warning of U.S. travel, Venezuela lists Tennessee city

(WZTV Nashville, TN | Aug. 7, 2019) Japan has joined a list of countries issuing travel alerts for the United States in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend.

The country of Venezuela warned their citizens to avoid cities they called the “20 most dangerous in the world,” based on a report from Forbes Magazine. Among the cities listed are Memphis, Tennessee, Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia …

… A national security expert from Syracuse University called the travel advisories likely political in nature. Corrine Zoli, Director of Research for the university’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism says “there is likely a political message embedded in especially Venezuela’s travel alert in light of President Trump’s announcement on Monday of expanding US sanctions, which will freeze all Venezuelan government assets and ban all Americans from doing business with Maduro’s administration.”

Read the Full Article.